Moving On: Life After Graduation


4 years of high school. For some students, that’s way too many, but for others, it’s just not enough. Only 4 homecoming games, 3 summers of fun, 2 proms, and one graduation before you’re off to college. As seniors prepare to graduate, they look to the future with high hopes, but it’s hard not to think about their time in high school and all that they’ll be leaving behind.

For Senior Brooklyn Nichols, the impending thought of college can be a little nerve-wracking, but not without a sense of excitement.

“Everybody is going to be nervous about college because it’s something that’s new and scary,” Nichols explained. “I plan on transferring to U of M after one year, so it’ll be good coming in and being a sophomore rather than a freshman. But being in college is a lot different than being in high school. So I’m really excited to be in a new place, try new things, and meet new people.”

Although college is on everyone’s mind, that doesn’t mean that this summer isn’t important too. For many college-bound seniors, it’s a last chance to hang out with friends and make the most of their time together.

“For the summer, I’ve got a job and I plan to hang out with a lot of friends before we all leave for college because some of us are going really far away,” explained Nichols. “It’s kind of crazy. Everybody’s gonna be everywhere. It’s the last summer where you’re all in the same spot. So for the summer, I’m hanging out with my friends, and then for fall, I’m going to be working and going to school.”

Although the end of the school year is a time to look toward the future, it’s also a time to look back and reflect on the high school experience.  While there were a lot of good memories, there were also some negative sides to being in the class of ‘23.

“I didn’t like sophomore year,” Nichols stated. “It was all online and that was really bad. I just didn’t like it that much because it was kind of isolating.”

However, the good parts seem to outweigh the bad, with memories of favorite classes.

“I really liked Pedlow’s class because he’s really funny, even though econ is really stupid,” Nichols laughed. “And I’ll definitely remember my Turning Points class in the third trimester of junior year because there were seven people in it. We took walks and read books and we watched a lot of movies and we just talked. It was a really small class but it was really fun.”

Even though she’s got plenty of fun memories, there are some things she wishes she would have known about high school before setting foot in the building.  

“Go to school dances and go to school events,” Nichols advised. “Participate in clubs. Have fun, but don’t get stuck in high school. People say it’s gonna be the best years of your life and it’s really not; it’s high school. You’re 14 when you start and you’re 18 when you’re done, and so you can’t do much then, but you know college is gonna be really fun. Your 20s are gonna be really fun. So don’t worry about everything. It doesn’t matter. Yeah, it’s cool, but it’s not everything.”

Nichols is right. Even though high school may seem like it’s the best time of your life, it’s important to look to the future and dream big.

“I’ve always wanted to live in a big city,” Nichols explained. “My dream is to live in San Francisco. I love San Francisco. I’ve always wanted to live in a big city because everything is like right there. You just walk down the street and it’s like an entire city. If I walk down the street from my house right now, I’m 15 miles out of town. I don’t want to live in Chelsea for the rest of my life. It’s a small town and sometimes it’s kind of suffocating. I made a pact with myself that I won’t live in Michigan when I’m older. So I guess I’ll see where life leads.”